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Start-Up Nonprofit Marketing Checklist: What to do First Online (Part 2 of 3)

fundraising nonprofit Sep 19, 2019

My last post covered some basics for nonprofits who are just getting started and looking to set up a low-cost option for a website. It’s important that you have your website set up before you branch out into other digital marketing efforts like social media and email. However, once your website is up, I’d recommend tackling social media next. This post will cover those basics.


Setting up your social media presence should happen after you have your website in place. This goes back to establishing authority for your nonprofit. I’ve come across nonprofits that have a Facebook page, but no website. I understand why though. Facebook is free and websites usually cost money, even if it’s not much. Facebook is easy to manage and maintain while a website requires planning and design. However, the perception of donors may be “come back and ask for money when you’re serious about your nonprofit.” In other words, solicit for funds when you don’t look like you just started and don’t have your organization in order. This may sound harsh, but perception is reality, and if donors perceive that you’re not professional because you don’t have a website, then the reality is that they will less likely make a gift. Aside from this website vs. social media comparison, here are other reasons why you should establish a social media presence:

It’s Expected — Nowadays for nonprofits, it’s expected that they have at least a Facebook page. Depending on your target donor base, it may also be important to have a presence on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Humanizes Your Cause — Social media allows you to connect with donors, constituents, and your community in a way that is more informal. It’s a great avenue for you to post pictures of what’s happening with your organization, whether it’s a volunteer event, staff birthdays, or in the community you serve. It provides an opportunity to post real pictures of real people and better tell your story, that show you’re more than just a logo.

Fundraising Tools — In the United States, your organization can obtain donations directly through Facebook by setting up your page as a nonprofit. You also have the ability to allow people to raise money for your organization (peer-to-peer) for their birthdays or any other occasion. See if your organization qualifies by going here:


The biggest hurdle to establishing your social media presence is simply to just get started. Similar to your website, it’s not going to be built in one day. You have to have a plan of attack. I’d start with these few tips:

Schedule Time– I find that if you don’t literally schedule time for the important things, the likelihood that those things will be accomplished is significantly reduced. Start small by scheduling 30 minutes a day for one week to work on setting up your social media.

Establish Your Presence- Even if you’re not active in all social media channels, you should at least claim your “social real-estate” on the following social media site: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and YouTube. To start, just set up an account on each of these platforms and complete as much profile information as possible, which may include your website url, picture, and organization description.

Consistent Branding– When establishing your social media presence, try to use the same name handle on each site for consistency with your branding. For example, if your organization's name is @nonprofitXYZ on Twitter, then it should not be @NonprofitABC on Instagram. The names should match, as should the profile pictures, in order to give your audience and brand a consistent look and feel.

The third part of this blog series discusses the why and how of getting started with email. It’s not available on in this blog, but you can access it and many more nonprofit resources by becoming a member of Fundraisers Unite.

(Note: To learn more about email, social media, website content, and digital media for nonprofits, check out The Digital Fundraising Blueprint, available in paperback and e-book on Amazon)

Do you work for a nonprofit? Then join the online community of fundraisers from around the world at The community includes monthly training, live weekly coaching, a nonprofit marketing/fundraising resource library and more. Join today!

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